French Open 2012 Bracket: Power Ranking Top Players in Men's Bracket
Coming into the French Open, most would say that Spaniard Rafael Nadal is the clear favorite for winning the grand slam once again. After all, he's riding the most momentum with a master series win in Rome.
Here's a breakdown of how the top players will fare in this year's event at Rolland Garros.
Rafael Nadal Is the Clear Favorite
Rafael Nadal, winner of last year's French Open, is riding into the event in Paris at full strength. He appears to be healthy and has really gotten over his slump against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Rafa is moving well on the red dirt, and appears to have an easier section to the semifinals. In the quarterfinals, the world No. 2 could draw No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic.
Nadal's in top form, and this is his favorite event and grand slam. The only skirmish he had in the clay court season was his loss in Madrid on the blue clay. Nadal could see himself winning another French Open and only build his resume as the best clay court player of all-time.
Don't Count out Novak Djokovic
The world No. 1 Novak Djokovic has never won the French Open. However, he has won three straight grand slams. It's clear that the Serb steps his game up in the grand slam events. Last year, Djokovic fell to to Roger Federer in the semifinals for his first loss of the season.
'Nole' could see veteran Lleyton Hewitt in the second round. Hewitt can give the world's No. 1 some trouble like he has in the past. Hewitt has a very difficult game to solve. Djokovic will be able to attack some of Hewitt's serves, but the Aussie can track down a lot of balls.
Djokovic has had a good season including an Australian Open victory. However, he's not in the same for as he was last season. Nadal has seemed to figure him out in two straight matches. However, Djokovic is still having good results and can see himself in a semifinal showdown against Federer once again.
Does Roger Federer Have One More in Him?
Roger Federer has only won the French Open once. In that same French Open, he didn't have to see Nadal on the other side. In 2009, Federer defeated Robin Soderling for his lone victory in Paris. Federer arguably has the most difficult path to the finals.
He can see an old foe in David Nalbandian in the second round. Nalbandian was one of a handful of players to have a winning record against Federer for a large portion of his career. However, Federer has seemed to solve his former junior singles foe.
Federer could see very dangerous player Tomas Berdych on his path to the 17th grand slam victory. The Swiss saw his potential third-round opponent fall today in Roddick. Federer could also see Djokovic in the semifinals if things fall into place.
Federer had a win on the blue clay courts of Madrid. He's playing good tennis as of late, but he will have to solve the duo of Djokovic and Nadal in the semifinals/finals to add on to his Hall of Fame career.
Andy Murray Is Still Battling Injuries
Andy Murray has been out of sorts lately. He has not had a strong clay court season. The young Scott has seen his troubles with a back injury as of late. He fell to Richard Gasquet in the Italian Open in Rome. It was a third-round exit for Murray.
It will be interesting to see how Murray recovers from that loss. If he makes it to the semifinals, he will have a chance against Rafa. Last year, Murray fell to Nadal in the semi-finals.
Murray doesn't have an easy path back to the semis, however. He could see Ferrer in the quarters. Ferrer is on a tear as of late and can present Murray a ton of problems on clay.
A potential third-round opponent for Murray can be Aussie Bernard Tomic. Tomic has a powerful serve and will be able to dictate Murray with his powerful forehand.
David Ferrer Can Be a Dangerous Player
David Ferrer can be a player to watch out for on the field. He has seen success in this clay court season. He has not solved Nadal, however.
Ferrer is familiar with the clay courts of the French Open. The Spaniard is a hard-hitting player, who can cover ground as well as anyone on the tour. He reminds me of a Juan Carlos Ferrero from the way he moves. Watch out for Ferrer as the tournament progresses.
Tomas Berdych Is Capable of an Upset
Tomas Berdych is capable of upsetting anyone on the tour. We've seen it in the past with his run at Wimbledon and upsetting Federer in the French Open quarter-finals in 2010. The Czech is very hard-hitting and could be a very dangerous test for Federer in the quarterfinals.
Berdych could be very well able to give the Swiss a scare with his shots. He will be able to dictate play due to Federer's backhand. If the two do face, Federer will have to have a very strong serving day.
Still, Berdych has to get by Juan Martin Del Potro or Marin Cilic in the first round most likely. Del Potro punishes opponents with heavy hitting as does Cilic. Both are underrated movers, and could very well shock Berdych.